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Therese Sullivan Caccavale, SUNY Class of '75

by Press Release
June 9, 2017

As a teacher, she established a ground-breaking program to teach Spanish in Holliston’s elementary schools and created the district’s first comprehensive, kindergarten-through-12th-grade French Immersion program.

Over the course of a 38-year career teaching foreign language in the Holliston Public Schools in Massachusetts, Therese Sullivan Caccavale received numerous honors, including the most prestigious honor in her field, France’s Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques, an academic “knighthood” earned in 1999. After graduating from SUNY Cortland in 1975 with majors in French and childhood education, she earned a master’s degree at Middlebury College and then won a Fulbright Scholarship to earn an advanced degree from the L’Université de Franche-Comté in France.

As a teacher, she established a ground-breaking program to teach Spanish in Holliston’s elementary schools and created the district’s first comprehensive, kindergarten-through-12th-grade French Immersion program. That program earned the district the Melba D. Woodruff National Award for Exemplary Elementary Foreign Language Instruction.
Caccavale’s honors include the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association’s 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award and the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers’ distinguished leadership award. She served as president of the National Network for Early Language Learning and helped school districts around the country develop early language education and immersion programs.

Caccavale passed away on March 5, 2017. She was posthumously awarded the SUNY honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. The degree was accepted by her son, Peter Caccavale, at SUNY Cortland Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies, on May 13, 2017.

Virginia B. Levine, Ph.D.
Executive Assistant to the President
SUNY Cortland
P.O. 2000
Cortland, NY 13045
607-753-2201

 

 

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